Positive earnings halt fall on FTSE

Markets didn’t take long to decide that downgrades for Greece and Portugal weren't such a big problem after all and the FTSE 100 slid just 17 points to 5,587 on Wednesday.

Morningstar 28 April, 2010 | 5:32PM

After yesterday’s rout, these signs of stabilisation were welcomed. The markets were buoyed by both some strong earnings data and a positive start from Wall Street.

Gartmore Group was the day’s biggest riser, up 15.5% to 164p on news that star fund manager Guillaume Rambourg has returned to the fold after his suspension for breaking internal procedures. The manager will initially return as an investment analyst, but will resume fund management duties providing FSA approval is granted.

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell also had a strong day’s trading as it posted a 60% rise in adjusted profit for the first quarter due to higher oil prices and faster growth in output. Earnings rose 49% to $4.9bn. The price rose 2.5% to 1,969p and gave a strong boost to a lacklustre FTSE.

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